We wanted to find out how to make it easier for volunteer drivers to take people without their own transport to hospital appointments in Buckinghamshire.

What we did

We did four things:

  • Literature review of published research into Community Hospital Transport
  • Survey of existing Volunteer Car Schemes in the county
  • Best practice research into car parking schemes for volunteer car drivers
  • Pilot scheme – we ran a Car Parking Permit scheme with Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust and Community Care North Bucks Hospital Car Service from 1 September to 30 November 2016


Volunteer car schemes in Buckinghamshire told us that parking difficulties were affecting their ability to take patients to hospital appointments. We wanted to see if we could improve the appointment experience by implementing a dedicated pilot parking scheme for volunteer drivers.  This would build on the voluntary permit scheme that Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust already has in place.

The results of the pilot form part of our report, written by Community Impact Bucks. It evaluates transport schemes already in existence and provides a best practice model. It further highlights the integral part that voluntary car schemes play in providing support to vulnerable members of the community:

Many people don’t have access to transport or someone who can take them to appointments. Voluntary car schemes provide a valuable support to patients over and above driving them to hospital. The permit system worked beautifully and it was great to know that there would be no parking difficulties.

Keith Coxton, Community Care North Bucks Hospital Car Service

What will we do?

The findings have been shared with Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and other local health and care providers.  Together with Community Impact Bucks we hope to explore funding opportunities to enable the scheme to be rolled out.

What can you do?

We’re always looking for feedback. You can share your experience of hospital car parking here on the website.


Home to health: hospital parking permits for community car schemes

Published on 18 May, 2017 (updated 26 Jun, 2018)

3 comments on "Home to Health"

  • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 24th May 2017

    The cost of parking astronomical.
    It’s disgusting. I spent so much money when my daughter was born as she was diagnosed with sepsis.
    I can’t think it’s disgusting how money is being made out of illness

    • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 24th May 2017

      Hi Fiona,

      We’re sorry to hear about your experience. Are you able to tell us which hospital this was at?

  • Healthwatch Bucks replied on 27th May 2017

    I got a ticket which was upheld on appeal and I found this unacceptable because the A4 sign on a lamp-post was further down the road than I’d needed to drive and any newly painted road markngs stopped beyond where I’d parked. Do they expect you to miss your app’t playing treasure hunt for possible tiny parking signs? Much of the usual car park was closed and there simply wasn’t enough space either. I also got stuck behind a barrier, unable to get out of an already full car park that had let me in. Private companies profit from the hefty fines and I feel it’s verging on entrapping money out of people.

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